I was 10 when my brother was born. I was old enough to help feed him and by 11 I could cloth diaper a baby like nobody's business. I was not required to do these things, but I did like to help. I was also old enough to remember the steps my parents took when my baby brother was sick.
A few years after he was born I began to babysit. Not only my brother, my other children in the neighborhood. After high school, I spent 2 summers working in day care. After college, I spent many more years working in day care full time.
These years of experience taught me how to care for children. Day care cannot prepare you for those middle of the night feedings, but I felt well prepared to handle the rest.
I was not one to call the doctor for every sniffle or fever. I may have called for advice, but I would not press for my child to be seen unless they still were not better after 2 days of over the counter medications. I panicked when my daughter had her first asthma attack, but having watched my brother go through similar experiences, I still knew what to do. Having my mom with me that day didn't hurt either.
My children are now older, and I still am not one to fuss over every little thing. I do not jump and run when they fall. I let them climb every slide at the playground, as well as the surrounding trees. I know what to do at home when my daughter has asthma issues. I also know when to call the doctor for her asthma.
I am not one to worry, but this is beginning to change.
For quite a few days, my son, who is 6, has been complaining of a belly ache. Mostly in the mornings before school. I have talked to him many times asking if something is going on at school. He can tell me and I won't be mad. I can't fix it if I don't know. His only reply is his belly hurts.
Since he has no other symptoms and is usually fine by the end of the day, unless I mention his tender belly, I send him to school. The papers he brings home are full of check marks and stars. He always tells me who he played with and sometimes, if I'm lucky, what he learned in class.
I thought about emailing his teacher or sending a note asking for a conference. My brother pulled this stunt on my mom more times than I can count. I don't want my child to not want to go to school.
The husband was out of town and perhaps that was related. I decided to keep an eye on my boy to see if his belly ache continues. But now he has another symptom to add to the list. His head.
When sitting in the back of the class, his head hurt when he touched it. I asked where. Behind his ear. Did he bump it? Did he fall? No, he answered.
Perhaps he needs glasses. I know that's inevitable. But why would his head hurt when he touched it?
I am at a loss. I don't know which way to turn. Do I talk with his teacher? Perhaps something in class is causing him grief. Do I call the doctor and hope they don't brush me away because of a silly belly ache?